Camus, in The Myth Of Sisyphus, offers the image of man struggling to push a rock up a mountain only to see it roll down again, over and over and over. The tragedy comes, Camus offers, only one when one becomes conscious of the absurdity of it all.
It is a dramatic vision, to be sure.
To me, though, the myth of today is much more prosaic.
We wouldn’t push that rock up over and over again, so the marketers had to come up with a new solution to keep the cycle going.
In the end, the answer was simple. They blew the damn rock up, and started making everyone carry pebbles.
You have to fill out the form, to chase down the deal. You have to take responsibility for a myriad of requirements, becoming your own organization as Tom Peters says.
And it’s true. Every divested requirement is small, simple, doable. It’s just one more little pebble to carry with you.
Problem is that a boulder is nothing but a raft of pebbles all stuck together, so when you add up enough pebbles they become a boulder again.
And now, the absurdity of that boulder is shattered too, hundreds and hundreds of shards of futility, of opportunities for failure, so small that the blame cannot be spread and so numerous that they cannot all be carried by one person.
Who can complain about one more pebble they have to carry? That would look small and petty.
But when the struggle to carry all the pebbles heaped on us becomes absurd, who can survive?
The rocks are broken, and then they break us.
And the breakers smile.